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Types of Rubber Expansion Joints

Designed to absorb and isolate vibration, noise and other pressures, a rubber expansion joint is the ideal solution for pipe systems. These flexible, bendable joints can be installed in a variety of media and can be used to absorb and control pipe movements. They are also available in many styles to meet a wide range of requirements.

A typical rubber joint is made of an elastomeric tube surrounded by fabric reinforcement to prevent flexing. Natural or synthetic elastomers are available to make the best choice for your application. These types of joints can be used for high and low temperatures, corrosive environments and in a variety of chemical applications. However, they are susceptible to abrasion. Depending on the application, they can be reinforced with solid rings or wire embedded in the expansion joint’s carcass.

A spool arch type expansion joint is an arch-shaped design that achieves pressure resistance through extended flange rings. This type of expansion joint can be configured with lateral offset features and can be drilled to any standard. A leak-proof lining tube extends through the bore to the outside edge of flanges, eliminating the possibility of fluids entering the expansion joint.

Another design is a spherical connector, available in single sphere, double sphere and triple sphere designs. These spherical connections can be a good option for vertical applications. The internal pressure in a sphere distributes forces evenly over a large area. The spheres can be reinforced with wire or fabric to strengthen the joint.

A spool type is commonly used for medium vacuum systems. These joints can be fabricated to meet field dimensions and can be filled with rubber expansion joint a rubber foam if needed. They have a small face-to-face dimension and are easily handled. They are also available with a fluoroplastic lining.

In addition to a wide variety of elastomers, these joints can be made from different materials. These include nylon, aramid, natural or synthetic rubber, metal, and fluoroplastics. For chemical applications, PTFE is usually the best choice. These joints have the ability to be designed with special polymers to provide additional protection.

Offset rubber expansion joints are a last resort. They require accurate angular misalignment, proper hole misalignment, and correct dimensions. They are often supplied with drilling on one flange. They can be fabricated to the exact specifications of the customer.

The advantages of a rubber expansion joint are the flexibility of the product, the resistance to abrasion and chemical erosion, and the reduction of noise. But, they can fail when the temperature or pressure is too high. This can be caused by the degradation of the material, hardening, or plasticization.

Several styles of rubber expansion joints are available, including a number of models geared toward abrasive applications. These include the SOF-SEAL, which is suited for horizontal applications. The DECK-O-SEAL is recommended for vertical applications.

All these types of expansion joints can be manufactured to a wide range of requirements. With the development of automation, there has been a major reduction in production time. This results in improved product quality.